After a consecutive seven-year reprieve, Florida once again enters the hurricane season.
To mark the start of the season, which runs from June 1st to December 1st, Miami-Dade political leaders and emergency managers, including Gov. Rick Scott, have stressed during a news conference that there is no room for complacency and that: “We have to be prepared regardless of what the error cone shows.”
Mayor Carlos Gimenez says “All of us home this will prove to be a quiet storm season but just hoping things will go well really isn’t a plan.” He also urged residents to heed any evacuation orders and to prepare food, water and supplies to last residents at least 72 hours.
So help people get ready, we have put together this short but comprehensive list of the best practices and necessary supplies in the event of a hurricane!
Anatomy of the Basic Emergency Supply Kit
The basic emergency supply kit should include all of the following items:
- Water, one of the basic needs, is necessary for drinking and sanitation. In case you’re wondering how much the recommended amount is, a gallon of water per day per person for at least three days should be enough.
- Food should also last three days but be conscientious to stock up on non-perishable food items.
- Manual can opener if you have stocked up on canned goods.
- Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight with extra batteries as the power would most likely be cut off.
- A whistle is a useful tool when trying to signal for help.
- Dust masks to help filter contaminated air.
- First aid kit should also be prepared with the proper meds for people with special needs.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn of utilities.
- Local maps for easier navigation.
- Cell phone with chargers, preferably solar or inverter charger.
- A first aid kit with all the necessary equipment including prescriptions medication, medicine droppers, eyeglasses, gauze, first aid book, and supplies for unique needs.
Preparing the Family Supplies
These items should be prepared if you are going to weather the storm. Not only would this make you feel more secure but this would also make things easier for you and your family:
- Rain gear
- Plastic utensils, paper cups and plates
- Traveller’s checks or cash and some loose change
- Paper towels
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil and some coloring books to keep children entertained
- House hold chlorine bleach – bleach can be used as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts of water to one part bleach) or it can also be used to treat water in emergency situations (16 drops of regular household bleach per gallon of water; do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners)
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
Evacuation Guidelines for You and Your Family
You also have to be prepared in case of an evacuation. Unfortunately, evacuations are more common than most people realize. In cases of a hurricane, people who live along the coastline are among those who would benefit from an evacuation plan. In the event of an evacuation, you need to have a plan to assemble your family and supplies and where you will go for different situations.
- Plan a rendezvous point within and outside of your neighborhood. Decide these locations before a disaster.
- Keep your gas tank full if you have a car. You might have trouble locating an open gas station in the event of hurricanes and power outages. And to reduce congestion and delay, plan to take one car per family.
- Have a map at hand in order to plan a quick transportation in and out of your area and choose several destinations in different directions so you would have options in the event of an emergency.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes and refrain from taking shortcuts since they might be blocked.
- Tune in to your battery-operated radio for any evacuation instructions.
- Don’t wait to leave until the last minute. Leave early so as not to be trapped by the weather.
- When driving, be on the lookout for road hazards such as downed power lines or washed out roads and bridges.
- If you don’t have a car, plan ahead and make arrangements with other family members, friends or your local government.
- Bring your emergency supply kit with you.
- If you have pets, be warned that usually, only service animals are permitted in public shelters. Plan ahead on how you will care for your pets in case of an emergency.
- Secure your home by locking windows and doors.
- Unplug all electrical equipment in your home but leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there’s a risk of flooding. If you are instructed accordingly, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
- Contact friends or family members from out of state and tell them where you’re going so that other people are aware of your status.
- Check if some of your neighbors might need a ride.
Secure Your Home
For residents living in hurricane-prone areas, you should take note of the message released by the National Hurricane Center: DON’T TAPE YOUR WINDOWS.
You see, when shards are being held together, they tend to become bigger and become a bigger threat as well. Instead, residents should use proven methods such as hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows.
With hurricane season coming, do everything to ensure you and your family’s safety. As the old adage says, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Tags: Florida hurricane season, How to survive a hurricane, Hurricane Survival Kit, Joy Carter, Keller Williams, preparing for a hurricane in Florida, preparing for emergencies and disasters in Florida, things to remember during hurricane season